Thursday, 22 December 2011

cool yule or psychopomp

Just in time for the passing of Yule, the Winter Solstice, a package arrived from my parents in the States with a lot of Christmas goodies we’ll be unwrapping in a few days besides, with this resplendent and very Bavarian woven table runner (Tischlรคufer), which I think is a modern depiction of the mythological motif of the Wilde Jagd (the Wild Hunt), associated with Yuletide and the superimposition of Christmas traditions.
Like Ghost Riders in the Sky, the Wild Hunt is a tapestry of ethereal huntsmen under the leadership of Nordic gods or sometimes Krampus (Santa's bizarro-world opposite who punishes the naughty) and was foreboding of different things: a psychopomp is such a parade of spirit guides, like astral reindeer.
In any case, the passing of Yule, where ever we might try to find meaning, symbolism or reconstruct traditions, means that the nights retreat a little bit and the sunset and the dawn creeps in earlier and earlier each day.  We'll certainly have a place to display this gift on the sideboard.